Former French minister Philippe Seguin dies at 66

7th January 2010, Comments 0 comments

The prominent former employment minister died of a heart attack at his home in Paris.

Paris – The French former government minister Philippe Seguin died overnight at the age of 66, officials said on Thursday.

Seguin served as employment minister in former president Jacques Chirac's government and later speaker of parliament. Since 2004 he had been president of France's public audit office.

President Nicolas Sarkozy hailed Seguin as "one of the great figures and great voices of our national life," in a statement released on Thursday morning, expressing his "very great sadness" at the news.

A "Gaullist" politician in the patriotic tradition of wartime leader Charles de Gaulle, Seguin was a fierce critic of European integration.

Police and relatives said Seguin died of a heart attack at his home in Paris. His death was also confirmed by his political party, the UMP.

His friend, former interior minister Charles Pasqua, said on RTL radio that Seguin was "a passionate man who loved his country" and his death was "a great loss for France".

Former prime minister Jean-Pierre Raffarin told Radio Classique that Seguin was "an exceptional character. He was afraid of nobody."

AFP / Expatica

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